Quality assurance in intensive care medicine | German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) pledges support to SMITH consortium

10.07.2020. The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) promotes practical as well as scientific progress in intensive and emergency medicine. With the Use Case ASIC, the SMITH consortium makes an important contribution to this. In a Letter of Intent, DIVI now confirms its interest in a cooperation.

Cooperative and interdisciplinary communication is the basis for strong partnership and cooperation. An active exchange of knowledge benefits the specialist disciplines and thus the patient. With the Use Case ASIC, the SMITH consortium promotes the improvement of patient care by using already existing clinical routine data. This is to be demonstrated using the example of the therapy of patients with acute lung failure, or ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), a disease that still kills about 40 percent of all patients today. In addition, many of the corona patients receiving intensive care suffer from ARDS during treatment, although numerous monitoring systems continuously monitor the patients’ most important vital functions. Especially the early forms of ARDS are often only detected when the lung function has further deteriorated.

The ASIC App, developed as part of the Use Case ASIC, counteracts this by ensuring continuous electronic monitoring of relevant ventilation parameters and alerting the attending physicians to potential ARDS even before the patient’s condition has changed critically. With an earlier diagnosis and a therapy in line with guidelines, valuable time in the treatment of patients can be gained, which can save more lives.

The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) focuses on science, practice and research in intensive and emergency medicine and has now officially expressed its support for SMITH in a letter of intent. With the automation of intensive care monitoring, the SMITH Consortium’s Use Case ASIC makes a decisive contribution to quality assurance in intensive care medicine.

Further information on the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine can be found here.

Precise diagnosis and treatment of acute lung failure | Use of the ASIC App is being expanded to intensive care units

07/01/2020. Almost one year after the start of the control phase, the quality approvement strategy in the ASIC Use Case of the SMITH Consortium has been launched. For this the ASIC App will now be made available and used step by step on all participating intensive care units.

picture source: © Healthcare IT Solutions GmbH

The focus of the Use Case ASIC is on intensive care patients with acute lung failure (ARDS – acute respiratory distress syndrome), a disease that still kills about 40 percent of all patients. The aim is to make the diagnosis as quickly as possible by using already documented, routine clinical data and to achieve better treatment by following the recommendations of relevant guidelines. 

Ventilation parameters are taken from the patient data management system via the ASIC App and examined for the potential presence of ARDS. Suspected cases of ARDS are immediately reported to the treating intensive care physicians via the ASIC app, which is certified as a medical device. This enables an early diagnostic and therapeutic reaction of the treating physicians. If the criteria are met after medical review and the information are confirmed, the app displays the respective severity and the relevant guideline-based therapy recommendations. 

Today, the Clinic for Operative Intensive Medicine and Intermediate Care of the University Hospital RWTH Aachen was the first department to successfully launch the app. The response of the medical colleagues in the intensive care units are consistently positive and acceptance is high. In the course of the next months the next SMITH project partners will start using the ASIC App. This includes the university hospitals of Bonn, Düsseldorf, Halle, Hamburg, Jena, Leipzig and Rostock.

Data-based early detection of acute lung failure | ASIC App obtains CE marking as medical device

05/19/2020. The early detection app for the clinical use case ASIC of the SMITH consortium has obtained the CE certification. The application is therefore considered a class 1 medical device and can contribute to the early detection of acute lung failure.

picture source: © Uniklinik RWTH Aachen/OIM

Intensive care medicine is a medical field in which the largest amounts of patient care data is generated and usually saved digitally. The usage of this existing clinical routine data and its structured, systematic analysis can improve patient care. This is demonstrated by the clinical use case Algorithmic Surveillance on ICU Patients (ASIC) implemented by the SMITH consortium. In ASIC the value of big data analysis is shown by the therapy of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Although there are clear criteria for the existence of an ARDS, it is often difficult to diagnose. In order to support physicians in early detection, the ASIC app was developed for iOS and Android-based devices within the scope of the use case. The mobile application ensures continuous electronic monitoring of the relevant ventilation parameters of intensive care patients. In the case of clinical deterioration, the app provides the relevant data for all affected patients and enables a patient-related, process-controlled, actual determination of ARDS based on guideline-compliant criteria and subsequent therapy recommendations. The obedience of these recommendations can significantly improve the outcome of the treatment of these patients.

After a development and test phase of two years, the app now officially bears the legal CE mark, making it the first successfully certified Class I medical device in the medical informatics initiative. A technical connection to already existing clinical and administrative systems in patient data management and thus the integration into clinical routine is planned at eight university medical locations within the SMITH consortium.

RWTH Aachen International Academy supports young scientists | Scholarship announcement within the Master’s program Medical Data Science

04/09/2020. For the start of the postgraduate, part-time and inter-professional study program “Master of Science in Medical Data Science (M.Sc.)” on September 29, 2020, RWTH Aachen International Academy is announcing two scholarship offers for the promotion of young scientists. 

The program aims to train specialists who have expertise at the interface of medicine and computer science both in data science and in interprofessional communication in health research and healthcare. It is aimed at graduates of a degree program in medicine and life sciences as well as graduates from the fields of computer science, mathematics and natural sciences with specific (medical informatics) professional experience. 

The funding is intended to support young academics at the beginning of their professional career. The prerequisite for funding is a maximum of 3 years of professional experience. The scholarships are awarded by a selection committee. The award decision is primarily made based on achievements in the first degree course and the type and content of relevant professional experience.

The financial support includes a 50 percent reduction in tuition fees (scholarship amount: 13,300 Euro). The deadline for submitting the complete application documents and the application for the scholarship is May 30, 2020.

Further information on the admission requirements and the course of study Medical Data Science M. Sc. can be found here: www.master-medical-data-science.de

Contact us: RWTH Aachen International Academy | E-Mail: mds@academy.rwth-aachen.de

Standardized Evaluation of Healthcare Data | SMITH Consortium Hosts Three-Day FHIR Workshop

02/20/2020. In July 2019, the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) decided to use the international HL7 standard FHIR to implement the core data set of the MII. The uniform format simplifies exchanging data between healthcare software systems and provides uniform data for medical research.

The SMITH Consortium conducted a MII-workshop on February 11th to 13th, 2020, at the University Hospital Jena to introduce FHIR and how it can be used. Scientific and industrial specialists shared their knowledge with 25 participants concerning the technical and organisational requirements to exchange data with other institutions.

Dr. Danny Ammon, director of the data integration center of the University Hospital Jena, introduced the interoperability standards in healthcare and why it is needed and the implementation, development, and profiling of these standards. Next, Dr. Frank Meineke and Sebastian Stäubert of the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology of the University Leipzig elucidated the phases of a Data Use Project (DUP) and the development of a clinical question to a completed analysis.

In a later training session, Dr. Kutaiba Saleh of the University Hospital Jena illustrated how to use the software ART-DECOR to prepare data and use it in DUPs. Simone Heckmann of Gefyra GmbH introduced the HL7 and FHIR in the next session.  Here the topics covered were the terminology and application of the specification, resources, profiling and the implementation of interoperability in healthcare. Finally, Prof. Dr. Cord Spreckelsen of the Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer and Data Sciences (IMSID) of UKJ, Julia Gantner (IMSID) and  Thomas Nitzsche (InterSystems GmbH) demonstrated using SQL databases to extract data, the analysis of statistic data and the use of analysis functions respectively. The Teaching Working Group of the SMITH Consortium organized this workshop.

Transfer between research and practice | SMITH organizes partner dialogue meeting

On Friday, February 6th, 2020, the SMITH consortium held the first partner dialogue meeting for non-university hospitals and medical networks. In an open exchange between around 80 participants from hospitals, medical networks, associations and industrial partners, the opportunities, which result from a collaborative partnership, were discussed.

Improved health services research, faster transfer from research to health care, long-term improvement of diagnosis, prevention and therapy and thus increased attractiveness for physicians in hospitals and medical networks are important added values ​​that result from the cooperation with SMITH.

In short lectures, the representatives of the consortium presented the structure of the data integration centers, the data protection aspects, the added value of the three use cases, the SMITH service platform and the range of solutions for transferring the SMITH architecture to the needs of the non-university sector.

Jochen Brink, President of the Hospital Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (KGNW), spoke about the requirements for a collaboration from the hospitals perspective. The KGNW expressly supports an equal partnership and an operating model adapted to the technological, organizational and economic framework of the regional hospitals.

The in-depth final discussion with all participants showed the importance of an effective cooperation between partners to realize the opportunities of personalized medicine for patients and service providers.

A continuation of the partner dialogue is planned for September this year, in which the focus will be on the perspective of hospitals and medical networks.

The speakers’ presentation slides at a glance:

Part-time, postgraduate study program “eHealth & Communication (M.Sc.)” at FSU Jena | Application deadline ends on February 15, 2020


On April 1, 2020 the new part-time master’s program “eHealth & Communication” starts at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. The interdisciplinary course combines medicine, computer science, public health and communication sciences. It equips to shape digitalization in the healthcare sector by scientifically well-founded use of eHealth technologies. The main focus is on the development and reflection of communication skills in the context of digitized medicine.

The current application deadline is February 15, 2020.

Further information:
E-Mail: master-ehealth@uni-jena.de
Web: www.master-ehealth.uni-jena.de

picture source: © Universitätsklinikum Jena

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research presents the Medical Informatics Initiative at MEDICA 2019

10/23/2019. Networking data, improving health care – that’s what the Federal Government’s Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) stands for. The aim of the initiative, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to improve research opportunities and patient care through innovative IT solutions. From 18 to 21 November 2019 visitors can come into a conversation with experts of the MII Consortia on our exhibition stand hall 13, booth F46.

Bildquelle: © Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

On Tuesday, 19th November 2019, the session „The Learning Health System: The Medical Informatics Initiative Germany and the Future of Data-driven Medical Research“ of the MEDICA HEALTH IT Forum will take place with international panel speakers from 01:00 to 02:30 pm in hall 13, booth E82. SMITH will be presented in a short lecture by Prof. Dr. Gernot Marx, University Hospital RWTH Aachen; Clinical Director of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Intermediate Care and Second Spokesman of the SMITH Consortium. Also, on this day, you can meet one of our experts at the exhibition stand.

Further information: Medica Website

Strengthening Medical Informatics Education | Lecture on the master program “Medical Data Science” at the GMA Annual Conference 2019

09/20/2019. In September 2020, the master’s programme Medical Data Science will start at the RWTH International Academy in Aachen. Dr. Ulrike Schemmann (Aachen) and Prof. Cord Spreckelsen (Jena) will present this course at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Education 2019 in Frankfurt am Main on Thursday, September 26, 2019: “Medical Data Science – ein berufsbegleitender interprofessioneller Masterstudiengang an der Schnittstelle von Medizin und Informatik “. The lecture (#292) will take place in the context of the session Interprofessionelle Ausbildung 1 at 17.30 in lecture hall 3.

The GMA Annual Conference 2019 will be hosted by the Association for Medical Education from 25 to 28 September, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main. The main theme of the conference will be interprofessional teaching.

Save the Date:
26.09.2019 | 5.30 pm | Session Interprofessionelle Ausbildung 1 | HS 3
Lecture: “Medical Data Science – ein berufsbegleitender interprofessioneller Masterstudiengang an der Schnittstelle von Medizin und Informatik“

To the website GMA Annual Conference 2019

SMITH Job Rotation Program begins

The aim of the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) funded collaborative project SMITH (Smart Medical Information Technology for Healthcare) is to develop an innovative structure for cross-institutional networking and the exchange of research and healthcare data between the nine participating university hospitals.

Within the framework of the SMITH project, rotation positions are available in Jena

(4 positions each over 6 months with 100% support or 12 months with 50% support)

The rotation positions offer you the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary research projects in the context of medical informatics. Ideally, clinically active employees will move to the data integration center, while scientists from the field of medical informatics will be involved in clinical research projects close to their area of research. Employees of the operative IT can also transfer to the data integration centre for a limited period of time or employees of the data integration centre can also transfer to the operative IT.

The program is aimed at people who are currently employed (in the fields of IT/medicine/life sciences).

If you are interested, please send us an application. This should include the following documents: a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, if applicable, and a letter of motivation (no more than 3 pages), which describes your research question or questions and outlines an appropriate project.

Please indicate your desired time period for the rotation in your application.

The rotation program ends in December 2021. Applications in 2021 can be accepted up to 6 months before the end of the program.

Please send your application (preferably online) to:

Jena University Hospital
Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer and Data Sciences (IMSID)
Prof. Dr. Cord Spreckelsen
Bachstraße 18 I 07743 Jena I Germany